After two turbulent years for SME entrepreneurs and businessmen , the time for recovery has come: in the surviving businesses there is an optimistic and hopeful climate; but also a clear idea that there are many challenges ahead and that to recover growth we must work on strategies focused on internal improvements and external opportunities.
Like any crisis, the pandemic revealed the true capacity of companies to adapt to new scenarios and compete . For this reason, it opened the door to detect red flags, improve processes and strengthen the financial health of businesses. That is what determined entrepreneurs are focused on today: growing again.
After running a marathon, runners need to recover energy through an adequate dose of vitamins; the same happens with millions of SMEs at the moment. Today we want to tell you what are the actions you need to implement so that your company grows again . Shall we start?
Vitamin #1. A clear diagnosis of the market situation
Before making any strategic decision, you need an in-depth x-ray of what has happened in your market in the last two years , knowing what the prospects are for the coming months and years, where the main challenges and greatest opportunities will be, discerning what the main trends in consumption, marketing and technology. The key is that, as a business owner, you must realistically focus on the opportunities to be exploited, and not on the problems or difficulties.
How to apply it
Build a team of leaders who have in-depth knowledge of the key areas that have a direct impact on business profitability : sales and marketing, finance, production, logistics and customer service. Include not only directors, but also managers or employees who handle the daily operation or who have first-hand knowledge of consumer complaints.
To detect changes and trends that are beyond the control of the company in time —and that can boost or stop its growth— it is also essential to listen to external consultants (expert economic and financial analysts in your sector), trend seekers and important clients. .
Vitamin #2. new sources of growth
The second task of the team of leaders and experts is to identify what are the real growth opportunities in the market at a local, national and international level . To grow, it is essential to get out of the comfort zone and not just stay with the usual sources of income, but go out to meet new needs and conquer new consumer niches.
How to apply it
Ask your team to focus on the new and big current problems that do not yet find a viable and accessible solution in the market. To begin with, it is best to analyze the new “audiences” that have emerged as a result of the pandemic, such as remote workers or those who prefer to attend virtual events . It is also important to analyze the real experiences shared by ordinary people so as not to be left alone with the large market studies.
Vitamin #3. More aggressive strategies to increase revenue
Contrary to what you might assume, business experts recommend not being so cautious when making financial decisions; that is to say, that we forget to cut expenses so that —provided that the financial health of the company allows it— we invest in strategies and new technologies that have a positive impact in the short and medium term on the client portfolio, on income and on general profitability; because, although they are often necessary, adjustments always affect the value chain and slow down expansion.
How to apply it
Ask those responsible for each area involved to generate reports on all stages of the business’s buying-selling cycle. Also, analyze where the main “bottlenecks” or obstacles to generating more income are or where there was a significant or problematic increase in costs.
Perhaps you detect that there are many losses in the warehouse (due to shrinkage or ant theft) and your company needs to invest in a business management system to manage inventory more efficiently; Or you may discover that the marketing strategy is efficient and many leads are generated, but even then the sales do not materialize because your customers now prefer to buy online and you do not have an ecommerce . Once the opportunities for improvement or expansion of the market have been detected, consider investing intelligently to take advantage of them; in addition, it measures the risks, but without letting you win by fear!